In the suburbs of Brikama in Kombo Central, an inter-village football tournament for girls is attracting a lot of interest and excitement. The Girls Empowerment Football Tournament organised by the Kombo Central II Sports Committee is aimed at using football to empower girls and provide opportunities for them in their communities.
“We believe that if girls are given the chance accorded to the boys on the field of play, a lot of talents would be discovered and harnessed for the greater good of the community,” says Besenty Gomez, an executive member of the Committee. ‘’It is a way of empowering girls through football for holistic development.”
The maiden edition comprises the villages of Kitty, Manduar, Penyem, Busura, Marakissa, Kassa Kunda and Bakary Sambouya. Among the popular players is Kaddy Jatta of Marakissa who is hoping this tournament will propel her to national stardom. The tall and tiny midfielder has a good pace and good passing skills.
“I am taking every game seriously,” she tells The Chronicle. “This tournament can be a game changer in my career. I want to play in the zonals and then the national female league.”
At the end of the tournament, best players will be selected to compete for Kombo Central II in the Gambia Football Federation’s 3rd, 2nd and 1st division leagues.
Kombo Central II has over the years produced some of Gambia’s best male footballers. Among them is Alieu Badara Jarju who went on to play for the national squad. He’s currently the President of the Sports Committee of his native Darsilami in Kombo Central.
“It is now time for the girls to show what they can do,” Jarju tells The Chronicle. “We are hopeful that at the end of the tournament, good players will emerge and got scouted for bigger clubs in the country.”